Ok - the way there must be appealing, the summit must have charm (landscape, view, seating?, …), there must be space for antennas (a forest is out of the question) and of course there should be no HF interference … and: I like it when there are no people. I don’t like touristy summits at all!
I can’t just pick up one. It depends on the season. Sometimes a wooded summit is preferable to have some shade, some other times, just the opposite and a summit with no trees is better is better to feel a bit warmer under the sunshine.
Some summits may be favorites because they are close by my QTH and they can be easily reached, but some remote ones may be favorite too because of its remoteness giving you that magic feel of being lost in the middle of nowhere, in perfect sintony with nature and not seeing a single trace of human life and civilisation throughout the whole day. I had that sense when I first activated Mt. Txorrotxarria EA2/NV-014 back in 2014. From that summit, I had an amazing view of Mt. Ori EA2/NV-003, I took this picture
I think it is quite appropriate to pick a summit for which a single adventure sticks in the mind forever, regardless of whether you would go again. The snow can make a massive difference here in the winter, I love it when there is a graduation of colour from green to white due to the vegetation and snow line.
Equally picking a summit for the views rather than the trek is equally valid. Place Fell is a fairly unremarkable climb, but the views are 360 degrees and magical.
Wild Boar Fell G/NP-007. Only about 40 mins drive, nice walk up on a good path but not crowded. Very few boggy bits, good views and an excellent view over the Settle Carlisle railway - a feat of victorian engineering, and still the only hill where I have experienced a brocken spectre. Good take off and enough space for a Beverage in any dircetion - if so inclined!
After 556 uniques it’s difficult to recall individual expeditions but the one which is forever etched in my memory is the ascent of Fair Snape Fell G/SP-007 on a clear and freezing dawn on 3rd January 2010. As Gerald G4OIG and I ascended the smooth and unblemished snow covered slope of the southern flank of Parlick from Fell Foot the sun rising in the East and the near-full moon setting in the West cast two opposing shadows on the perfect canvas, a rosy pink to one side and sparkling silver to the other. An absolutely magical experience
Spot on Paul! And we drove 12 miles on rutted iced up roads to get there and parked on snow covered ice. And some people wonder why I drive a Quattro.
For a chilled out activation I always fondly remember Hownam Law GM/SS-197 which I spent the entire activation lying on my back looking up at the sky. Other summits are memorable for other things… usually weather related. That’s the reward for us activating summits regardless of the conditions. I think we’ve only cancelled alerts due to two factors - illness and 70mph winds.
Aibelhöhe has a table and chair that are perfect for activating; a well that is stocked with beer during the summer months (no, really); and is always accessible on a sunny day during the winter bonus months. It also faces south with a great view. Can’t ask for more than that.
73 de OE6FEG
No longer truly in “my area” anymore however when I was still living in Australia, the first summit activated when the VK2 association went live was
VK2/HU-093 Mount Elliot
It has a public park on the summit with a car park, a lookout point, several tables and benches, a toilet block and free Electric Bar-B-Que cookers - ideal for a club outing! Only a 1-pointer but you can’t have everything!